For legal aid to be granted for a psychiatric assessment report the following tests must be satisfied:
- The applicant is the independent children’s lawyer (ICL), and
- there is a current parenting application about a substantive parenting issue before the court; and
- there is a need for the ICL to continue their involvement in the matter; and
- Legal Aid Queensland has not previously provided funding for a psychiatric assessment report for the same person in this parenting dispute; and
- a psychiatric assessment report is required in the matter for the court to be able to determine a current parenting application.
- The matter:
- is listed for an interim hearing or a hearing where an interim parenting order is likely to be made, or
- trial directions have been made, or
- is listed for trial.
- There is evidence in affidavit material filed and/or documents produced to the court under subpoena that the person or child to be assessed has been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness or condition that is likely to impact upon parenting capacity or parenting arrangements for the child/children, and
- the person has been hospitalised because of the condition within the last 2 years, or
- there is evidence of non-compliance with recommended treatment within the last 12 months that is likely to impact upon parenting capacity.
- There is evidence in affidavit material filed and/or documents produced to the court under subpoena that the person or child to be assessed:
- has displayed behaviours that are or could be consistent with a diagnosable mental illness or condition and these behaviours are likely to impact upon parenting capacity or parenting arrangements for the child/children, and
- no diagnosis of a psychiatric condition has been made.
- The ICL has identified gaps in the evidence available which indicate a strong need for an independent psychiatric assessment report to be prepared. The report is required to assist to determine the current parenting application and there are no alternative sources of evidence available.
- The parties are funded by Legal Aid Queensland, cannot afford to pay for the report or have refused to pay for the report.
- The request meets the merits test.
If the number of hours sought by a psychiatrist to prepare a psychiatric report in a family law matter exceeds 24 hours, the matter will be referred to a senior grants officer for consideration.
Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an extension for aid request via the Grants Online system along with the appropriate information request and details of the number of hours sought by the psychiatrist to prepare the report.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a report from a psychiatrist is MS2.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).